I'm. . . not sure how I feel about that. Like, yeah, it's totally emblematic of the state of our culture that appropriation of that magnitude is not only "okay", but that lyrics from a rap song describing the artist's (hopeful) rise from a life of crime to phenomenal legitimate wealth somehow even makes sense applied to a reusable shopping bag that no doubt does double duty carrying a Macbook to and from work, and organic cherries and wine home from the Whole Foods. Of course we sip champagne when we thirsty. We work in finance. What else does one sip? And god, birthdays are just the worst. Ugh. Crow's feet.
I honestly think fussiness over cultural appropriation in pop culture is a little silly. Any culture (and especially pop culture) is sort of by definition a mass of appropriations from an earlier state anyway. On a certain level, if you're going to get angry at Miley Cyrus for twerking, you also have to get mad at Beyonce for pouring champagne into her hot tub. There's a racial dimension in the first case, sure (and in the case of the tote bag, which by the way I kind of want for myself), but in any of these examples it's harmless appropriation, IMHO. Raging against this kind of cultural drift is kind of like being really adamant about the Oxford comma. Regardless of your position you just seem kind of pedantic and dull, and maybe you need to think about your priorities for social justice and/or grammar.
Whatever. This is turning into my musings on cultural appropriation and class warfare. It's just. . . Music is fun. Hip hop is fun. That tote bag is kind of funny, especially if maybe she got it at a wine tasting or something.
But there's a part of me that hopes the woman carrying is aware of what went into Biggie's lyrics. He was 21 when he recorded the song, and 22 when it was released on his first album. It records not his success but his aspirations. He'd had some exposure, but he'd also gotten out of jail for selling crack just a year earlier. Being a crack dealer was still a viable fallback plan for him if being a rapper didn't work out. His future looked pretty good, but it also must have looked pretty goddamn unstable, and I think that insecurity comes out in those lyrics.
Does that pretty blond woman know what it's like to walk that knife's edge? Has she ever thought about it? If she saw a young, unknown Biggie walking towards her on the street would she nod hello, or would she cross to the other side?
He almost certainly gets paid more than I do.
I'll give you a moment to settle down.
I've just now realized that, to her, Harrison Ford is this jowly, gruff, middle of the road action movie guy with a weird earring and probably a drinking problem. And that's all. He's just a guy with okay acting talent, bad taste in screenplays, and an inexplicably huge box office draw. When she makes a character for an RPG or considers the appropriate response to trouble of any kind at no time does she consider shooting first, using a bullwhip, or questioning the fundamental nature of humanity.
Also Voyager is her favorite Star Trek series, so I don't even know what the fuck is going on anymore.
I don't care where you went to school, or what your GPA is. I care about your ability to write like you give a shit.
So, herewith in the form of a bullet list are a few things I should probably elaborate on at some point.
- I tore a small hole in the tendon that runs across the top of my left middle finger, which has partially paralyzed that finger. It could take as long as a year to heal, and in the meantime I'm wearing a splint at all times except when I'm doing my OT exercises or otherwise need unobstructed use of an essentially useless finger. Considering the majority of my recreational activities these days are sports of an Extreme nature, the way I hurt my finger is moderately silly, though it did involve backflips. Frustratingly, the injury could take as long as a year to heal.
- I've been working for several months on a big Secret Project at work. Last week, my colleague Natalie and I presented an update on the project to our CEO, after which we got high fives from a couple senior VPs. So it went well. Then Natalie and I went and got burritos.
- A couple of weeks ago I fired someone for the first time. It sucked in the same way that breaking up with someone sucks. The guy wasn't terrible. He just couldn't do the job so I had to let him go. I actually wrote myself a script for the conversation based on what a bunch of websites told me I was supposed to say, and it went okay, but I still feel shitty about it.
- Speaking of feeling shitty, today I have to poop a lot and it's uncomfortable.
- From now on, whenever I refer to someone as a douchebag, this is what I mean.
- It turns out that my camping kit is sufficient for a single rainy day followed by warm, dry weather; or a couple days spent in freezing temperatures. But it is NOT sufficient for a day and night of constant rain followed by freezing temperatures and snow. Pleasant company goes a long way in such situations, but not as long a way as dry clothing. At least the beer I brought didn't freeze and explode, and my 3-season tent held up admirably under what was arguably a light dusting of the fourth season.
- The only truly unenjoyable part of that camping trip was, of course, learning that Heady Topper, an IPA that scores a perfect 100 on Beer Advocate, is widely considered the best IPA in the world, and is brewed in very small amounts by The Alchemist in Waterbury, Vermont, was sold out at the local liquor store.
- Months ago, I ran two laps on a Tough Mudder, which I was going to write a race report about, but it kept wanting to turn into gymbragging, which was not my intent. I did my first lap in 3 hours flat, which is a great time. My second lap took significantly longer. It was a fairly challenging 20 miles interrupted regularly by arbitrary walls and sticky mud. It was supposed to be training and a gear test for the Spartan Ultra I was going to run in September. I ended up skipping the Ultra because of my finger injury, which makes me feel super weak because when I did the Beast last year there was a guy in a wheelchair.
- I originally wrote that skipping the Ultra made me feel "lame," but then realized that was a tasteless pun on the wheelchair guy.
- My compatriot and I saw King Diamond at the Palladium last Thursday. I'll get into how much I love the Palladium, but for now I want to talk about vocalists. King is 58, and his heart exploded a couple years ago. He's only alive because Satan and maybe one or two surgeons replaced his heart with the pulsating head of a creepy doll so that he could go on defying the laws of physiology with his vocal cords for a few more years. He is amazing, to say the least.
- Speaking of vocalists, you know Ray Gillen? No you do not. Because he was the guy who sang for Black Sabbath who is neither Ozzy Osbourne or Ronnie James Dio. He's an astoundingly good singer, and I always feel sort of bad for him because how the fuck do you compete with Ozzy and Dio? Poor Ray Gillen. You and Gary Cherone should be drinking buddies.
Amtrak has these creepy police state propaganda videos ("You may be 'randomly' selected by a group of white male police officers to be poked in the butthole with an autobaton for no real reason. Because if terrorists attack our comically outdated rail system no one would probably notice and the terrible, obvious flaws in the whole shebang would suddenly be on the news for part of a day. Like for instance the time a few weeks ago when on the same night, two different trucks were hit by trains while driving down isolated stretches of track nowhere near a road, and if that's even possible then searching your bag is kind of moot isn't it?") in which dead-eyed actors wearing cop suits narrate Schoolhouse Rock style lessons about obeying the violent thugs who prevent the entire Amtrak world from descending into total anarchy. They play on monitors all over South Station just like messages from a crypto fascist future state are supposed to.
Anyway, this morning they had a new one that opens with the first few bars of what I am 98% certain is a Kraftwerk (which my phone wants to correct to "meat week." Thanks iphone!) song that isn't Trans Europe Express. I can't help but feel that someone, somewhere is missing some kind of point.
I'm still confused.
Well, horrifying Facebook robot, as soon as you begin referring to motherhood as a "product" I think I'm pretty much opposed to everything you stand for. Because you are clearly losing touch with your fundamental humanity as a result of a toxic overexposure to tech marketing doublespeak, and I have no truck with terminators.
I find that the longer I spend in management, the more immersed in this kind of thinking and speaking I become. We refer to the people who work for us as "resources" and the children who buy our products as "consumers" all the time. And honestly, that's fine, because it tends to simplify communication in most cases. But I try to put some thought into my semantic choices, because what you say and how you say it has a direct impact on your perceptions. Talk too much like a robot, and that's what you'll eventually become, except without any of the benefits, like chainsaw hands.
Probably no one but me still uses a paper monthly t pass (your only option if you take the commuter rail), but if you have one this might be useful information. A station manager just told me that if your pass doesn't work and there are no T employees nearby to help, it's okay to just "hold your pass in the air and do what you have to do."